Island of the Philippines reopens to tourists, after six months of closure

island of Boracay

island of Boracay

The island of Boracay, reopened Friday, after six months of closure, due to tourist massification, water pollution and the anarchic growth of hotels.

Boracay, once a resort town with crystalline waters, suffered the repercussions of accelerated development and was dubbed a "septic dump" by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who decided to close the island on April 26.

The first tourists began arriving early in the morning to the port of Cagban.

"Boracay has been a lesson in how to balance development and protect the environment. The lessons learned here are not only for Boracay, but also for other destinations in our beautiful country," Philippine Tourism Minister Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told reporters at the island's reopening ceremony, which counted with the presence of the environment minister, Roy Cimatu, as well as local authorities.

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